What started out as students chatting on a popular web site quickly led to vicious rumors now circulating around Central High School. Last week, a boy wore a respirator to school because he thought his school bus smelled bad. Several classmates thought the breathing apparatus was a bomb and that became the word around school.
Assistant Principal Mike Compton said, "He made the comment that 'I would have to have a bad death wish in order to do that,' and one of the students misunderstood and thought that he said a death list, which he denied, but it went from a death list; I think it kind of made itself into a hit list."
Some kids started talking on line about the respirator incident and that led to even more gossip about the student's intentions. The teen's classmates started saying he had a hit list on the Internet and planned to hurt some of his fellow students.
"This particular student - the next period - had an incident happen with a student where they got into an argument. During the argument, another student made the comment 'watch out or he may shoot you,' and the student he was arguing with said 'I'd rather be shot than stabbed,' and then this particular student that supposedly has the hit list made the comment, 'how about being shot in the crotch?'"
School leaders have been investigating the so-called hit list after panicked parents started calling the principal and scared students started worrying about their safety.
Principal Ronald Lindgren said, "It is a serious issue in today's world and it's something we're not going to take lightly here. My children go to school here too, so I understand how they feel and we want everyone to feel safe and comfortable in the environment that they go to school in."
Myspace.com is blocked from all campus computers this year. No student is supposed to be able to access the web site from a school computer.